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Heroes

They call it the 'Pennsylvania Caribbean,' but you wouldn't catch me swimming in those waters.

Residents of a pond located near the Pennsylvania and West Virginia border were promised a paradise, but instead, they found a toxic, coal-ash-soaked reality. Here's how they're responding.

When developers approached the residents near Little Blue, a small body of water located near the Pennsylvania and West Virginia border, they were told that the installation of a nearby coal plant would improve their quality of life, giving them beach-like landscapes made from hardened, supposedly harmless, coal ash.

As the lengthy list of elements and compounds found in coal ash might suggest, however, there was nothing harmless about what residents would have to endure.


After the plant was put into action, residents began to notice changes in the water's color and the air's smell, leading many to wonder whether life's most basic necessities — air and water — were even safe to consume.

Residents weren't about to take this lying down. Instead, they launched the legal battle of their lives, and in 2012, it was announced that the plant would close. While this is a victory for the area's residents, the damage to their property and health has been done. Some residents have filed suit against the plant's operator. Sadly, Little Blue is far from the only area contaminated by coal ash, and so the fight to preserve land continues on.

If you think our health and the environment are worth fighting for, send a message to the Environmental Protection Agency pressuring them to finalize new rules on coal waste disposal.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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Canva

Small actions lead to big movements.

Acts of kindness—we know they’re important not only for others, but for ourselves. They can contribute to a more positive community and help us feel more connected, happier even. But in our incessantly busy and hectic lives, performing good deeds can feel like an unattainable goal. Or perhaps we equate generosity with monetary contribution, which can feel like an impossible task depending on a person’s financial situation.

Perhaps surprisingly, the main reason people don’t offer more acts of kindness is the fear of being misunderstood. That is, at least, according to The Kindness Test—an online questionnaire about being nice to others that more than 60,000 people from 144 countries completed. It does make sense—having your good intentions be viewed as an awkward source of discomfort is not exactly fun for either party.

However, the results of The Kindness Test also indicated those fears were perhaps unfounded. The most common words people used were "happy," "grateful," "loved," "relieved" and "pleased" to describe their feelings after receiving kindness. Less than 1% of people said they felt embarrassed, according to the BBC.


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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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